Friday, February 25. It seems like a day that would be like any other day and yet this year it was different. The kids were out of school because of snow, my handsome hubby had the day off, and it would have been my mother’s 59th birthday.
In the years since she has passed that day has been a source of great sadness for me. In our family birthdays were always a big deal. Parties and gifts were given and time with family was the icing on the cake. Oh and the cake. My mother made the most beautiful cakes you can imagine. She always made my birthday cakes, then when I had my children she made their cakes. When it came time for her birthday I decided one year that she should have a cake and I would bake one. Her favorite cake is a banana cake with peanut butter icing. If you have gone to your local grocer to look for a box mix for a banana cake and peanut butter icing you will not find it, as I found out the hard way the year I decided to undertake this task. So I made a banana cake from scratch and homemade peanut butter icing that my mother walked me through over the phone on how to make.
In the years since her passing I have been to the pit and back again…twice. I got so wrapped up in what I had lost I didn’t take time to look at anything that I still had. I forgot to look up, I forgot to look outside of myself to the One who could set me free from the bondage that I had set for myself. The thing with the pit and the depression that ensues from being in the pit is this… you are usually content with just hurting yourself. I have said that so many times it breaks my heart. What you forget is that in hurting yourself you also hurt the ones that love you.
The Lord delivers. The Lord is patient and He delivered me. He is the only one who could. This year I shed one single tear for my mother. I didn’t spend my day in mourning for someone who is walking the streets of gold. Instead I baked a cake from scratch with peanut butter icing. The cake didn’t rise and may have been the ugliest cake ever baked. However, as with God’s love, icing covered the cake making it good, just as God’s love covered the ugliness of my pit dwelling and pulled me out. We said happy birthday to Grandma and celebrated her life and talked about our memories of her while enjoying not a perfect cake but one made out of love and hope.
This year I am determined to read through my entire One Year Bible that I started when mom was sick and never finished. This year I am finally doing the bible study that my best friend said would change my life. This year I am doing the Breaking Free bible study by Beth Moore. She has us memorizing a verse from the bible. I think it says it all.
Isaiah 61:1-4. The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
Because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.
To fully get out of my pit I need to break free from the chains that bind me. I don’t want to have a spirit of mourning. Is that living? Is that becoming who God has chosen me to be? So I will praise Him and seek Him and not despair. After all my mother? She couldn’t be in better hands.